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Homepage of Donald Forsdyke

Figure from Paul Ehrlich's 1900 paper

Detail from Ros-etta St-one

Chargaff difference analysis reveals Szybalsky's transcription direction rule.

Charles Dodgson's rabbit


Bioinformatics (Genomics) Donald Forsdyke 2009


Theoretical Immunology     

Sex Chromosomes

Ageing and Philosophy

Bateson pages

Lists of Recent Publications, etc.


Peer Review

Romanes Pages and Early History of Queen's University

Strategic Studies

Video Lectures and Academy


Alphabetical List

The purpose of these pages is to provide original texts of papers which I deem critical to the understanding of some major problems in the biomedical sciences. Many important papers, often neglected by modern readers, date from the 19th century. The original versions are not always well presented (small text, no headings, etc.). Modern technology allows these relatively inaccessible texts to be made available to a world audience in an attractive, searchable, format.

To the extent that there is a hidden agenda, it is to show that, for the biological sciences, the key concepts were advanced in the 19th century.  Ewald Hering and Samuel Butler in the 1870s introduced the idea of heredity as information transfer and, building on Darwin's "pangens", De Vries (1889) postulated differential gene expression and transfer of information from nucleus to cytoplasm. This anticipated the discovery of messenger RNA in the 1950s. Romanes solved speciation in 1886 and we are only just beginning to catch up. We have been so busy filling in the details that we have forgotten about the big picture.

This theme is explored more fully in my books:

Tomorrow's Cures Today. How to Reform the Health Research System. Harwood Academic. 2000. (Click Here)

The Origin of Species, Revisited. A Victorian who Anticipated Modern Developments in Darwin's Theory. (Speciation plus a scientific biography of George Romanes). McGill-Queen's University Press. 2001. (Click Here)

Evolutionary Bioinformatics. Springer, New York. 2006  (Click Here)

Treasure Your Exceptions. The Science and Life of William Bateson. (Alan G. Cock, coauthor) Springer, New York. 2008  (Click Here)

Evolutionary Bioinformatics  Second Edition Springer, New York. 2011  (Click Here)

Evolutionary Bioinformatics  Third Edition Springer, New York. 2016  (Click Here)

Donald Forsdyke

John T.Gulick, American Missionary and Evolutionist (1832-1923) who introduced peripatric speciation (the "founder principle").

Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) German chemist and immunologist, who gave us the first selective, cell based, theory of immunology.

George Romanes (1848-1894) Canadian-born British physiologist-evolutionist-philosopher, who pointed to what we would now call the non-genic solution to Darwin's problem of the origin of species.

William Bateson (1861-1926) British biologist, who extended Romanes' ideas, postulating a non-genic 'residue' that was necessary for branching speciation.

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Copyright. The material on these pages, with the exception of items whose copyright is held by various publi shing houses (see below) or elsewhere (e.g. the William Bateson papers held at three locations: the Cambridge University Library, the John Innes Centre, and Queen's University Archives) is the copyright of D. R. Forsdyke. You are welcome to use these materials, without my expressed permission. It would be appreciated if you would acknowledge this page if you take material from it.

Acknowledgements. Some of the material on the pages listed above has been published in various journals, which are the only definitive repositories of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the associated publi shing houses. Single copies may be made for personal use, but multiple copying or reposting requires explicit permission of the appropriate publi shing house. Acad emic Press offered on-line access to all or part of some of these papers through its IDEAL webpages. Else-vier offers a similar facility Click here. See also Else-vier's Gene Homepage (Click Here). Copyrights eventually expire and it may be safely assumed that the nineteenth century papers on these pages may be freely copied.

This page was established in 1998 and was last edited 13 January, 2018 by Donald Forsdyke. The evolution of this and associated pages, with successive updates since circa 1998, may be examined by going to the Internet Archives - The Wayback Machine  (Click Here).  "Snapshots"of the pages for the Q-Space Archive were taken in February 2005 (Click Here) and May 2007 (Click Here). Later version are posted by Queen's University Archives at (Archive IT) or, more specifically, at (Wayback IT)


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